Question: I am looking at an application where I need to protect holes in precast concrete structures from filling with water. Will your Glass Plastic product stick to a very smooth concrete finish?
Answer: Thank you for your email, and interest in self-adhesive surface protection films. If you were to try to use Glass Plastic on concrete, regardless of how smooth the finish, you would swear it had no adhesive. Yet if you took the same roll and tried it on glass, it would stick beautifully. Part of what we take advantage of with glass protection is the ionic nature of glass.
For your project, a much more aggressive adhesive would be needed. This depends on how smooth the concrete being covered is, and whether or not it has been sealed. We have had quite a few customers use one of our products to cover concrete while they are re-surfacing asphalt parking lots. This is honestly about the only experience we have with covering concrete, because we normally recommend against it. The product that has been used is a 6 mil film with an adhesive system called 479. It is fairly aggressive as surface protection films go, but this is normally needed to adhere to concrete, and even then the concrete needs to be pretty smooth or it will not adhere well enough to support its own weight.
It is important to know how long the film would be in place. Surface protection films must be applied to cured surfaces in temperatures fairly close to room temperature for the adhesive systems to “wet out” properly. In colder climates, quite a few of our customers warm the rolls, and say they work pretty well on colder surfaces.
Microscopically speaking, concrete has a very open porous system, and it often holds quite a bit of moisture. Moisture is the enemy of adhesive systems of the types used on surface protection films. A water-based adhesive system is slippery until the water is removed, then it becomes sticky. If water is present it can re-hydrate the adhesive system to some degree, and cause not only the loss of adhesion, but can also cause adhesive residue transfer. If the surface protection film is left on concrete for an extended period of time, adhesive residue transfer becomes more and more likely. Really the only applications where we have had reports of it being used successfully are for days, not weeks or months.
If the concrete is sealed, then the film adheres much easier, and the chances of problems are reduced significantly. Once the film is well adhered to sealed concrete, it will usually stay adhered, even during inclement weather.
If you want to experiment we can send some samples for you to test. Yours is a difficult application for anything self-adhesive unfortunately.
We are often asked, "what is the best tape to use with vapor retarders?" Essentially here are three tapes which are ideally used with vapor retarders.
First for seaming, we have an excellent Vapor Tape, which has been formulated to be waterproof, and to stick extremely well to polyethylene vapor retarders. It also seals well around protrusions.
Seond we offer Vapor Tape Plus, which is a single-sided aluminum foil tape with a release liner for ease of installation. The aluminum foil has very high impermeability to methane and other gases. Acrylic adhesive provides outstanding adhesion to polyethylene over a wide temperature range. Typical uses include joining and sealing gas/moisture barriers.
Third is a Sealing Tape, called Butyl Seal Tape. The Butyl tape has a reinforcement between double coated adhesive sides. This double-sided tape is used to attach vapor retarders to foundation walls, to protrusions, and ideally between overlapped layers of the vapor retarder as added insurance against penetration by water or water vapor (and many other types of vapors). This tape is permanently flexible, completely water-proof, and is incredibly sticky. It creates a permanent seal, which does not lessen over time.
Very few tapes are as ideally suited to this difficult application as these two tapes. First many tapes do not adhere well to polyethylene sheeting of any kind. Second, the introduction of water or water vapor on a long-term basis adversely affects many tapes. Many tapes and types of adhesives age over time, and basically deteriorate. The tapes we use are high performance tapes that have been tested and used in these applications for decades.
If you are doing your homework regarding vapor barriers, you have probably come across descriptions for "vapor barriers" and "high performance vapor barriers." What makes a vapor barrier "high performance"?
There are several factors that contribute to the high performance credential. A high performance vapor barrier will always be made from 100% virgin resin. This means there is no re-ground plastic or other contaminants in the liner. 100% virgin liners hold up much better than liners you may find in a home improvement store that says,"6 mil vapor barrier". There is confusion in the market in that people think that is a liner is a certain mil thickness, then it will perform well as a vapor barrier. Nothing is farther from the truth. If you don't want to replace your vapor barrier a few years down the road, research and make sure you are getting the best liner to meet your special circumstances.
The next factor that makes a vapor barrier "high performance" is the fact that the liner/barrier is specifically manufactured to be a high performance vapor barrier. This engineered plastic vapor barrier was constructed to meet certain criteria. Under consideration is what the surface will be like where the liner will be placed. Is the area rocky or made up of a granular fill? There are test methods that are performed on liners to insure they will hold up when they are in contact with granular fill. This test is called, ASTM E1745. This test also places the vapor barrier in simulated situations to mimic service conditions.
High performance vapor barriers are tested for their water vapor permeance or water vapor transfer (WVT), tensile strength, and puncture resistance. They are also must be resistant to decay. Click here if you want to learn more about the strict guidelines that high performance vapor barriers must pass.
Some other high performance vapor barriers also called, vapor retarders are engineered to block deadly soil borne gases like radon. These vapor barriers are made with such a tight cell structure that they are 50 percent less permeable than typical polyethylene vapor retarders.
To read about the various high performance vapor barrier, please click here.
When it is time to paint the walls in a room, and you want to protect the tile, ceramic, stone or any hard, non-porous surface, Floor PlasticTM is an easy solution to save you time and clean up. Floor PlasticTM is a self adhesive, water-based film that is adhered to the flooring for up to 45 days while you get the job done. The film is reverse wound on rolls for quick application. It may be used on factory finished hardwood floors that are in excellent condition. It is recommended that you try a small piece in an obscure are to be sure. So often people will put down drop cloths that slip and slid all over the place. If you look at the photograph above you will see how the film can be placed right up to the baseboards insuring every inch is protected. With Floor PlasticTM you can relax knowing your floor is safe from spills and drops of paint that find their way onto the floor.
Floor PlasticTM is made in the United States in an ISO 9001-2000 certified plant. The great news is you will not have any adhesive transfer!
Floor PlasticTM- This incredible hard surface, self-adhesive floor protection film (Green film in picture above) will withstand construction activities and foot traffic for 45 days in normal circumstances. State of the art water-based adhesives are used while manufacturing this product under very strict quality assurance guidelines (ISO9001-2000 certified facilities) in the USA. Packaging is always in generic boxes with generic labels for distributors who wish to have us drop ship to their customers. Reverse wound on the rolls for the most popular uses, for the fastest application. Recommended for factory finished hardwood floors (in excellent condition), laminates, tile, ceramic, stone, or any hard non-porous surface needing protection from workmen activities.